When you hand a little kid a piece of paper and a crayon and tell them to draw “home,” it’s pretty likely that they will draw a triangle stacked on top of a square. Maybe they will add a chimney, a door, a tree and some windows.
As we grow up, a lot of our definitions change. We learn that family doesn’t just mean our parents and siblings, but can also include our chosen family, as well.
If you handed me a piece of paper and some crayons today and told me to draw my home, I would draw two pictures: my childhood home and my quadmates. So here’s a love letter to some of the women who make Notre Dame my second home.
Nicole and I were random assignment roommates as first-years and have been inseparable since. The first time I saw her is burned in my mind — I walked into our room and there she was, a perfect stranger who I already felt like I had known my entire life. She does the best pterodactyl impression I’ve ever heard, makes the best brownies I’ve ever tasted and has the coolest collection of pants I’ve ever seen. She would run through a rainstorm to find her friends if she knew they needed her, she stays up until 3 a.m. blowing up balloons to make sure someone feels special on their birthday and she makes my life better every single day.
Lizzie is one of the most hardworking people I know. She is generous with her time and talents. Last semester, when I told her that I wanted to try to relearn piano after not playing for eight years, she started running down to the Flaherty chapel with me at 11 p.m. multiple nights a week for jam sessions. She is an incredibly talented musician, but an even more patient teacher. When she does something, she excels. When she loves someone, she loves them with her full heart.
Rachel keeps me on my toes. Even though I feel like we know each other very well, I don’t think there will ever be a day when she doesn’t surprise me. Seeing her smile is like a shot of dopamine going through my veins. I really admire how she knows who she is and wears it proudly. She is a ray of sunshine that has a soft spot for bad boys and edgy choker necklaces.
We like to call our quad the “pentagon” because it would be incomplete with just four points. Mary Grace, the fifth member of our quad, is the epitome of compassion. Anytime I’m walking around with her, we run into multiple people who she calls out to and asks about how some specific thing they have on their plate is going. She cares deeply about everyone in her life and is not afraid to show it. Not only is she sweet as pie, she cracks me up on a daily basis.
One of the things I love most about my Notre Dame family is that no matter how long we are apart, I know that as soon as we are together again, it will feel like we were never gone. I hate to think about how we are halfway done with our college days together, but I know that my life will be forever changed for the better because of the strings of fate that brought us together.
The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.